Effective home remedies for colds and coughs for babies

Most babies are prone to frequent colds and coughs because their immune system is underdeveloped. If you’re a first time parent, you’d probably press the panic button at every sneeze and cough of your little munchkin and rush him to your paediatrician without any second thoughts. Well, I won’t blame you, because I did the same with my first child. However, with my second one, I had learnt to deal with these minor issues with some very effective home remedies. Home therapies are not only safe with no side effects but they’re mild on the baby too  in contrast to harsh drugs.

 Read: How to make instant Tomato Rasam

Here are some home treatments you could try to soothe  your baby from cold, cough and chest congestion.

Saline Drops: Homemade saline drops are very effective in clearing baby’s nasal congestion.

You can prepare fresh saline drops by mixing ¼ teaspoon of salt in about 300 ml of warm water. Put your baby down and push his head slightly back in chin up position. Then, carefully administer one or two saline drops into each nostril using a dropper. Try to keep this position for a few seconds to allow for the solution to travel down the nasal passage. You can repeat it twice or thrice a day.

Do remember to clean the dropper after every use.

Eucalyptus oil (6+ months): This is an amazing medicinal plant with wide ranging disease fighting properties.You can apply a few drops of this oil on the sides of the baby’s temples, the chest and back and massage gently. You can also pour a few drops on a hanky and make the baby inhale it. This is a completely harmless remedy to help relieve nose blocks.

Honey, Basil and Ginger remedy (one year and above): These natural ingredients have been used for generations to cure colds.

  • A mixture of crushed basil leaves and honey helps reduce cough and runny nose.
  • Honey with a dash of lemon in hot water helps to keep cold under control.
  • Mild juice of ginger mixed with warm water and drops of lemon helps soothe the throat.
Read: The many benefits of olive oil for your baby and toddler

Steam surround: Create a steamy environment by running a hot shower in the bathroom. Give the baby a hot bath while exposing it to the steam. This will help loosen the clogged nose.

Vapour rubs (3+ months): Vapour rubs are soothing and ensure a good night’s sleep. Gently rub the child’s chest, back and neck area with camphor and menthol vapor rubs. You can also use ground nutmeg to extract the cold from the infant’s body.

Massage: Massage the baby’s body gently by using warm mustard oil mixed with garlic on the chest, back and neck area. Also cover the baby’s palm and feet with the oil for a quick relief.

Read: Massaging baby – why and how?

Warm fluids (6 months and older): Heavy breathing during colds often leads to dehydration. So babies need to be supplemented with lots of other fluids to keep them well hydrated. This will also help to flush out the secretions clogging the nasal passage. Fresh juices and clear soups are  some options you could consider.

Nothing like a good rest: For any illness, a good rest is extremely essential as it helps the body regain energy and recoup faster. Likewise, when fighting off a cold or cough, make sure that the baby gets enough rest. This will help baby bounce back faster.

Honey (strictly after one year): Honey is a natural decongestant and helps in soothing colds and coughs. You could mix a teaspoon of honey in some warm water and give it to the baby 2-3 times a day.

Carom Seeds: Carom seeds and basil leaves in warm water is a natural expectorant and decongestant. It can also give instant relief from cold

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